A Brief History of Damansara Heights

The Origin Name of Damansara

In fact, the name of Damansara is originated from a place previously known as “Damar Sara”. However, it wasn’t until the late 19th century that Damansara was known as such.

The name is said to have originated from a place previously known as “Damar Sara”.

Damansara came about because of a spelling mistake made in the 1890s. Damar Sara became “Damansara” when a land registrar mistook the letter “r” as “n” and wrongly merged the original two-word name.


The spelling error probably occurred when Sir William Maxwell (then British Resident of Selangor) implemented the Torrens system of land registration pursuant to the Selangor Registration of Titles Regulations of 1891, hence the name “Damar Sara” in the maps of the state prior to 1891.

A river north of Damar Sara was subsequently named after the wrongly-spelled “Damansara” (Sungai Damansara), which then became the origin of the Damansara commune (mukim) we know today.

The area defined as Damansara has also changed over time. 

Before 1974, the mukim of Damansara was part of Klang and covered areas like Shah Alam, Subang Jaya, Bandar Sunway, Kelana Jaya, Kota Kemuning and part of Putra Heights.Later, the areas that make up Damansara moved to the northern part of Petaling Jaya’s municipal area, bordered by Kelana Jaya in the south, Kepong/Sungai Buloh in the north, and Segambut in the east.

There are more than 25 neighbourhoods, roads and landmark buildings in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor that bear the name “Damansara”. This includes Mutiara Damansara, Damansara Utama, Damansara Jaya, Damansara Kim, Damansara Damai, Kota Damansara, Ara Damansara, Damansara Perdana, Sri Damansara, Plaza Damansara, Medan Damansara and Damansara Town Centre.

The most familiar and posh area is called Damansara Heights (Bukit Damansara) while the latest addition to the Damansara family is Damansara City.

The name Damansara may have come from Indian words:

In Hindustani, “Daman” means “foothills” while “Sara” may mean either “a mansion of wealth”, or “water” in Sanskrit.

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The first office building built in Damansara Heights was Wisma Damansara, built in 1970 by Selangor Properties. This was followed by the Damansara Office Complex on Jalan Dungun, which at the time also housed the local stock exchange and the offices of Shell Malaysia. The Medan Damansara neighbourhood consisting of two storey link houses were built in 1972.

The office market in the Klang Valley totals 70,000,000 sq ft (6,500,000 m2) and this is dominated by city-located projects (65%), Damansara Heights (7.5%), Bangsar/Pantai (6.4%), Petaling Jaya (9.5%) and others. Based on government-sourced data, Damansara Heights will see another 500,000 sq ft (46,000 m2) in the near future.

Damansara Heights is limited by its small amount of available commercial land and redevelopment is on hold. It is indicated by the demolishing of Wisma Socfin on Jalan Semantan for the construction of UOA II Damansara, along with several other buildings nearby. Increasing efficiency of newer buildings and more modern designs are the driving forces behind the trend. There are redevelopment plans for some office buildings in the area, such as Bangunan SPPK and Wisma Damansara. Wisma Beringin is undergoing refurbishment.

Wisma Damansara is now being occupied wholly by Help College.

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